Oscars 2014 Contenders: 25 films to watch for

Should George Clooney start staking out another spot on the mantle?

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The engravings on Ben Affleck, George Clooney and Grant Heslov's Best Picture Oscars for "Argo" are still fresh and already the gears are spinning across the net on what to expect in the film awards season next year. Of course we were going to pile on.

I remember a time when year-in-advance Oscar speculation boiled down to just a handful of eager beaver outlets (this one included). Now the LA Times, IndieWire, you name it, everyone's putting that early bird finger to the wind. And no shock, everyone's turning out similar lists.

Indeed, the old standbys are pretty much, well, stood by when it comes to this kind of thing. Oscar bait, pedigree, a pinch of buzz and voila, you have a set of films to look out for. But beware the pretenders. Remember "Amelia?" How about "The Shipping News?" And here's one for you: "Pay It Forward." Yes, there are as many seemingly awards-ish titles waiting to fall off that pedestal as there are those waiting to live up to the expectation. And for those recipes that turn out a tasty Oscar soufflé, dominance isn't always a given. Just look at something like "Les Misérables" or "Lincoln" this year.

From our perch here, it's fair to say there is a healthy slate of possibilities on the horizon. Studios like Paramount, Warner Bros. and The Weinstein Company are already filling out their stables, while there are, as ever, plenty of films waiting to find a home that could figure into the equation as well. And as Clooney finds a place for his latest Academy Award, he might want to start staking out a potential spot for another one next year. Just in case.

But let's save the serious predictions for a future date, shall we? For now, here are 25 films we think you might want to keep an eye on as we make our slow crawl to the 2013-2014 film awards season.

Click through the gallery below for more (and feel free to add any other films you think ought to be considered in the comments section below).

2013-2014 OSCAR NOMINATIONS
UPDATED: MARCH 2, 2014